Physical Fitness and Maternal Psychosocial Status in Children With Autism Attending a Regular Physical Activity Program

ŞAHAN A. K., ÖZTÜRK N., ÇALIK KÜTÜKCÜ E., Aksu H., Tunagur M. T., Arikan H.

FOCUS ON AUTISM AND OTHER DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITIES, vol.37, no.4, pp.257-266, 2022 (SSCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 37 Issue: 4
  • Publication Date: 2022
  • Doi Number: 10.1177/10883576221108110
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, IBZ Online, CINAHL, EBSCO Education Source, Education Abstracts, Educational research abstracts (ERA), EMBASE, ERIC (Education Resources Information Center), MLA - Modern Language Association Database, Psycinfo, Public Affairs Index
  • Page Numbers: pp.257-266
  • Keywords: autism, physical fitness, physical activity, posture, maternal anxiety level, maternal quality of life, QUALITY-OF-LIFE, SPECTRUM DISORDER, BODY POSTURE, PARENTS, EXERCISE, FAMILIES, STRESS, HEALTH
  • Hacettepe University Affiliated: Yes


The aim of this study was to compare physical fitness-related parameters in children with mild to moderate autism and their typically developing (TD) peers to determine maternal anxiety level and quality of life. Children with autism had significantly worse scores for all Munich Fitness Test (MFT) parameters except step test heart rate and had lower physical activity levels compared to the TD children (p < .05). There was no difference between groups in terms of postural deviations or maternal anxiety scores (p > .05). The MFT total score was associated with higher maternal quality of life scores (r = .605, p = .006). This study showed that despite participating in a regular physical activity program, children with mild to moderate autism have lower physical fitness and activity levels compared to their TD peers, whereas better physical fitness in children with autism has a positive effect on their mothers' quality of life.